I have two guest posts which I’ll be posting over the weekend – the first from Angie, who accompanied us on the Portuguese Camino Tour last year.
She and her husband Ken have become solid friends. We have a big year ahead with them this year – they are coming on both the Assisi Tour in April / May, and the Indian Tour in September.
Julian Lord, the Quintessential Pilgrim, has also sent me a guest blog, which I will put up late today.
Here is Angie’s blog…
“It was meant to be!” we all agreed as we discussed the Camino Portuguese last year. The words were uttered a couple of days ago when both Donna and Greg, our Camino friends came for dinner at our new home in Marcoola at the Sunshine Coast, Queensland.
Donna and Greg visited us a few times when we lived at Tannum Sands in Central Queensland. Since our very memorable pilgrim walk in Portugal and Spain the friendship continues to flow in a natural and easy way.
Putting the ‘meant to be” into context is about a particular group of people who came together to walk the Camino Portuguese organised by Bill and Jennifer. Since our walk along the Way there has been a lot of communication through blogging, Facebook, emailing, phone chatting, and social get togethers. And more excitingly we genuinely like each other!:)
There were wondrous connections and bonding of friendships on the Camino. It was evident very early on that we were all individuals from diverse backgrounds with varied personalities and with different reasons for walking the Camino.
We all had our own unique physical, emotional, mental and spiritual experiences on the Way. As we walked together, dined together and drank together, we got to know each other and this I believe has formed the basis of strong and lasting friendships.
Individuals in our group were the coming together of like-minded beings with like-minded energies engaging in a like-minded walking experience. There was without a doubt an acceptance of everyone. As walked together we not only chatted and enjoyed lots of laughs, we also took on the role of confidential listener and supporter.
As I reflect on my role as a pilgrim in this group it was about respecting and trusting and just knowing that what was said on the Way would always be private. There were days we enjoyed companionship and some days when there was a preference to be solitary. Interestingly and not surprisingly a relaxed balance evolved, unsaid and accepted by all.
Having said all this, it makes sense that we as a group have stayed together as friends still enjoying laughs, still enjoying meals and drink when possible, given our locations in the world and still talking through phones and social media.
So it was meant to be that we all came together as a group to walk and experience the Camino. What is even more exciting is that we want to walk together again with Bill and Jennifer and those of us who can and are able to walk the Italian Assisi have committed to the tour.
Why am I committing to such a walk with so many high inclines and steep declines? Obviously the sore feet, the horribly stingy blisters and exhaustion is a long and distant memory.
The individuals who come on The Via Di Francesco Tour in April/May will be another ‘meant to be’ group and I look forward to catching up with my like-minded friends from the Camino Portuguese and getting to know new like-minded friends in Italy.
Maybe I need to confess right now that a reason for me walking again is that I have been bitten by the Camino bug too, just like Jennifer and my gosh I have a great sense of joy that I have been bitten! And just like Jennifer, I only realised this when I felt the great need to walk in Italy.
Bill: there are some spots available on the Assisi tour if you’re interested.
Contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org
(below – Angela & Donna)